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Strange Bulkhead Damage

moab11

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I was looking over my new to me 16 SKS 155 and noticed that there is a small crack beside the front upper a-arm mount on the clutch side. The two halves of the bulkhead also don't line up in the middle at the front under the pipe, not by much, maybe 1/4".
No other damage that I can see, I only noticed when I removed the tie rod boots to replace them.

What else should I be looking for? And could this be ok to ride for the season, then change out in the spring? Or does it need to be replaced asap?

Thanks,
Jeff
 

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die hard poo

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Another option is to weld over it. Skidoo cast bulkheads are welded from the factory. Or replace that side of the bulkhead. Thankfully polaris bulkheads are modular and you can replace components fairly cheap. Just take some work to tear it down.
 

Sheetmetalfab

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It looks like it does go all the way through, but just barely. I pulled the pipe, and it was still hard to get a pic.
But here is the best one I could get of the crack, and the misalignment of the two halves in the middle.
By the looks of the rounded off A arm nuts, crack, etc. whoever owned it before you hit something hard and replaced half the parts.
(And they didn’t have the correct tools to do it)

Welding on the cast bulkhead isn’t a good idea. (Weakens the whole structure)

(Skidoo uses a different aluminum alloy that is weldable)

Drill stop the ends of the crack and rivet/ lords adhesive a plate on the inside would be much stronger.

Hammer the center piece till it aligns and adhesive a stiffener on there also.
 

jim

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By the looks of the rounded off A arm nuts, crack, etc. whoever owned it before you hit something hard and replaced half the parts.
(And they didn’t have the correct tools to do it)

Welding on the cast bulkhead isn’t a good idea. (Weakens the whole structure)

(Skidoo uses a different aluminum alloy that is weldable)

Drill stop the ends of the crack and rivet/ lords adhesive a plate on the inside would be much stronger.

Hammer the center piece till it aligns and adhesive a stiffener on there also.
Yep. Agree with all of that. To be more specific, I'd drill for a 3/16" rivet at the end of the cracks, and use stainless (same as tunnel rivets basically). I would also put a washer on the deforming rivet side so that you only squeeze things together and don't apply separating forces by pulling the rivet end through the metal. Bracket to me is optional as there is already a lot of material there and a bracket will only really get used if you have some flex...and I don't expect that area to flex at all give the geometry (hence it cracked there, not moved).

Don't weld. You will change the material structure and make it crack and/or weak...will be worse.

And to hammer the peice, I'd use a large mallet or a small sledge with a 2x4. You might consider placing a brace (like a car jack) under the part of the chassis where things look straight...because the bent metal is work hardened and you could bend the wrong areas when trying to get it back to shape...basically give a fulcrum to bend it around to get the shape you want.
 

tuneman

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Previous owner likely hooked a tree and the upper a-arm took the impact close to the mounting point. Your upper a-arm is slightly bent and the bulkhead on that side is tweaked. Drill small holes at the ends of the crack and ride it. Don't hammer on cast aluminum. Bad things happen when you do that. Keep an eye on the c-clips on that upper arm that they stay put. You should be ok for the season, but plan on replacing the bulkhead in the off season.
 

moab11

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Thanks for all of the help and suggestions guys. This is my first polaris in over a decade (had a Nytro XTX for ~7 years and then an SXViper before that), so I am still getting up to speed on the intricacies of the Axys chassis.
A friend suggested to check around the driveshaft since it must have been a pretty good hit to do this, and yep, the tunnel is wrinkled around the driveshaft on that side. Pics attached.

I know I am looking at a bulkhead replacement in the spring, and drilling the ends of the cracks for now. I will look into a plate on the inside, just need to figure something out. I don't have any Lords adhesive yet, would JB weld be ok for this temp fix?
Also, any suggestions on the tunnel? Just try to hammer it straight and see how it rides? Should I be looking at replacing anything there in the spring too?
 

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diamonddave

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Damn. This thing got racked bigtime. Was this an insurance buyback? Better carry some extra belts. I’ll bet that motor is going to be way out of alignment.

I like sheetmetalfab’s idea. I’d probably jerk the motor out when doing the beating and banging on the bulkhead. Motor mount straps are part of the lower case. I’d hate to snap one of those. And of course replace the shitty motor mounts.

Some guys have beat the tunnels straight with wood and plated up the area.
 

moab11

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Damn. This thing got racked bigtime. Was this an insurance buyback? Better carry some extra belts. I’ll bet that motor is going to be way out of alignment.

I like sheetmetalfab’s idea. I’d probably jerk the motor out when doing the beating and banging on the bulkhead. Motor mount straps are part of the lower case. I’d hate to snap one of those. And of course replace the shitty motor mounts.

Some guys have beat the tunnels straight with wood and plated up the area.
Not an insurance buy back as far as I know. Was bought private sale and the previous owner didn't seem to know much about the sled. He said he bought it to do more powder riding with his buddies, tried it a couple of times and didn't care for it. I believe he was the second owner and may have been this way when he bought it. My more likely theory is the original owner banged it up pretty good, realized the extent of the damage, fixed it up good enough to sell and dumped it. Unfortunately it was all well hidden so I didn't notice until I got it home and went to replace the ripped tie rod boots and give it a good look over before riding it this season.
 

Sheetmetalfab

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Thanks for all of the help and suggestions guys. This is my first polaris in over a decade (had a Nytro XTX for ~7 years and then an SXViper before that), so I am still getting up to speed on the intricacies of the Axys chassis.
A friend suggested to check around the driveshaft since it must have been a pretty good hit to do this, and yep, the tunnel is wrinkled around the driveshaft on that side. Pics attached.

I know I am looking at a bulkhead replacement in the spring, and drilling the ends of the cracks for now. I will look into a plate on the inside, just need to figure something out. I don't have any Lords adhesive yet, would JB weld be ok for this temp fix?
Also, any suggestions on the tunnel? Just try to hammer it straight and see how it rides? Should I be looking at replacing anything there in the spring too?
Hammer the tunnel straight and put a stiffener plate behind the secondary clutch.

JB weld will work. ?
 

moab11

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Hammer the tunnel straight and put a stiffener plate behind the secondary clutch.

JB weld will work. ?
Thanks, is there a specific plate for the secondary clutch? I tried searching, but not having much luck. Or is this just something to look at and see what I can make work from some scraps?
 

Sheetmetalfab

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Thanks, is there a specific plate for the secondary clutch? I tried searching, but not having much luck. Or is this just something to look at and see what I can make work from some scraps?
I’ve been involved in a couple sleds straightening and plating.

Just some scrap aluminum.

Maybe make a paper template first.
 

moab11

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Nice work Pepperhouse! That definitely gives me an idea of what to do now.
Was the tunnel bent similar to how mine was? or is this more preventative?
 

Sheetmetalfab

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Nice work Pepperhouse! That definitely gives me an idea of what to do now.
Was the tunnel bent similar to how mine was? or is this more preventative?
Snowest won’t let me upload a DXF file otherwise I could give you a piece that fits the clutch side nicely.

Pm me an email address if you want it.
(Or anyone that does)
 
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